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INTERNATIONAL: EU agrees to mobile phone cuts.

EU governments yesterday agreed to cut the cost of using mobile phones abroad, the last hurdle for a cap on roaming fees to be introduced later this summer.

Europeans will have better information on hidden charges they face when they make calls from another part of the 27-nation bloc after the law enters into force in coming weeks. Telecom companies will have one month after that to offer customers a new pricing structure with considerably cheaper roaming fees.

Mobile phone users will have another two months to choose whether they want to go with the new plans or stick with their existing contracts. After that, they will be put on the new contract automatically.

This should allow them to benefit from cheaper prices from August, the EU's executive arm has said - but the exact timing depends on when the law goes into effect.

Under the new rules, the retail roaming cap will be set at 33 pence per minute for making a call when abroad and 16 pence per minute for receiving one, plus value-added tax

The ceilings would drop further, to 19 pence for making calls abroad and 13 pence for receiving them, by 2009. The regulation will then lapse, unless the EU decides to extend it.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jun 8, 2007
Words:208
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